Most people I think were not particularly thrilled by the news that the NFL is considering expanding the playoff field from 12 teams to as many as 16. The players I know were mostly against it. Jared Allen seemed to speak for most when he called the idea “stupid.” The whole thing just looks like a cynical money-grab and a massively hypocritical move from a league that’s constantly preaching about player safety. Really? You care about safety? So you want to add even more games?
But more has developed on this story, and this development may change some minds about the plan. Albert Breer says the NFL is mulling a scheme that would add playoff games, but would make up for it by cutting preseason games. The plan being floated would bump the number of playoff teams to 16 but cut the preseason schedule from four games to two. And this plan could go into effect as early as next year.
Does this change your mind at all? Because it does mine. I was totally against the expanded playoffs before. But if the trade-off is getting rid of two mind-numbingly awful preseason games? Then I’m all for it. In fact, I’ll cheerlead the heck out of this thing for Roger Goodell. Sure, it would be dumb having awful teams make the playoffs in an 8-per-conference format. But to eliminate half the preseason? That’s a swap I can get behind.
So I say bring it on. Bring on the expanded, watered-down playoffs. Bring on terrible teams still being in it right till the end like this was the NBA or NHL. If it will cut in half the number of garbage exhibition games I have to sit through every year, I will not just tolerate that, I will embrace it.
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